Put Columbus back!

American Experiment delivers 5,000 signatures demanding return of statue to Capitol grounds

Center of the American Experiment delivered a petition signed by 5,000 Minnesotans to return the Christopher Columbus statue to the State Capitol grounds where it was displayed for 100 years. The statue was torn down on June 10, 2020 by members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) during a protest. The Walz/Flanagan administration knew about the protest in advance and were warned the statue might be torn down but did nothing to stop it.

“No matter how you feel about Christopher Columbus, we can’t let protesters decide which statues are allowed at the Capitol and other historical sites,” said John Hinderaker, president of Center of the American Experiment. “The failure of Gov. Walz to return the statue immediately sends the message that destruction of property is allowed as long as it fits a particular narrative.”

A bill to restore the statue was introduced by Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) and was included in the Minnesota Senate State Government Operations bill that passed the Senate this week.

American Experiment collected signatures through a website at www.preserveourhistorymn.com/columbus. The Minnesota Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board’s Public Engagement Task Force is collecting input from the public about the Capitol experience and commemorative works on the Capitol Mall and in the Capitol Building. The 5,000 signatures to the following letter were delivered today to Sen. Ingebrigtsen and the Board’s office in St. Paul.

Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board:

I am writing to demand the return of the Christopher Columbus statue to its position on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds. The statue was illegally torn down by protesters on June 10, 2020 without any discussion or process by your board.

The statue was a gift from the Minnesota Italian community and has been on the Capitol grounds for 100 years. There should be a process for deciding the monuments, statues and artwork displayed at the Capitol and until that process is in place, the Columbus statue should be immediately returned to its pedestal.

Every day that goes by without returning the statue affirms the idea that lawless mobs can decide which monuments can stay and which can be torn down. This is not how a lawful society operates.

Please restore the statue now.